March 29, 2012
Minutewomen Host Dayton In A-10 Home Opener
The UMass softball team (14-10, 2-0 A-10) concludes a three-game homestand this weekend when the Minutewomen host Dayton (12-15, 0-2 A-10) Friday and Saturday at the UMass Softball Complex. Friday's game will start at 3 p.m. and Saturday's contest at Noon.
Live video and stats of every UMass game are available online at UMassAthletics.com. Additionally, live stats and a live audio broadcast are available for every road game, including the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.
Dayton enters the weekend at 12-15 overall, 0-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and riding a two-game winning streak following a home sweep of Akron last Sunday. That was preceded by a pair of losses to St. Bonaventure on the opening weekend of league play.
After opening the season with a 2-9 record, the Flyers strung together a season-best six-game win streak before their current 4-6 stretch.
Series With Dayton
The Minutewomen are 27-3 all-time against the Flyers, having won the last 15 games in the series. UMass has posted 13 shutouts and held Dayton hitless twice - Brandice Balschmiter had a perfect game in 2008 and Sara Plourde collected her first-career no-hitter in 2009.
Last season, Cyndil Matthew went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs, Meghan Carta hit a third-inning grand slam, Stephanie Mayne homered on the very next pitch, and Sara Plourde struck out 17 to lead UMass to a 9-1 victory on a rainy Friday afternoon at the Dayton Softball Stadium.
Two years ago in Amherst, Plourde struck out 23 Flyers in picking up a pair of wins. Katie Bettencourt had five hits with three doubles and drove in four on the day.
`Q' Delivers In The Clutch
There's no denying the impact Quianna Diaz-Patterson has made on the UMass team this season. The freshman from Amherst Regional HS has stepped right in and produced form the get-go. She has started all 24 games at shortstop and currently is tied for or leads the team in RBI (20), doubles (8), triples (1), home runs (3) and slugging pct (.533). Of her 20 RBI, 15 have come with 2 outs.
UMass Strong At Home
UMass has compiled a 205-22-1 (.901) all-time record at the UMass Softball Complex. Included in that is a robust 106-7 (.938) mark in Atlantic 10 regular-season play.
UMass went 14-3 at home a year ago.
Plourde Selected Ninth In National Pro Fastpitch Draft
UMass senior Sara Plourde was selected ninth overall by the Carolina Diamonds in the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch Draft on March 8.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Hermitage, Tenn. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).
Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete is not eligible to sign with their respective franchise until her 2012 season is completed.
Matthew Near The Top Of Atlantic 10 Rankings
UMass junior OF Cyndil Matthew has been on a tear this season. She leads the A-10 in runs (22), ranks second in batting avg. (.408) and on-base pct. (.481), third in hits (29) and fourth in steals (15).
She also leads the team with eight multi-hit games and has collected a career-high four hits against Maryland (3/2) and Chattanooga (3/17) this season.
A-10 Game Officials Honor Nick Cinquanto
The Atlantic 10 Conference softball umpires and women's basketball officials will honor former coordinator and observer Nick Cinquanto by wearing a commemorative black patch during A-10 games this season. Cinquanto passed away Sunday, January 22.
Cinquanto, who served as the Conference's Coordinator of Soccer and Softball Officials and as a women's basketball officials observer, spent 20 years in various capacities with the Atlantic 10. He began his career with the league evaluating officials in 1988.
A-10 SAAC Anti-Bullying Video Contest
The Atlantic 10 Conference is having an anti-bullying video contest where all 14 campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) were asked to create a 90-second video. The voting runs through April 1 and can be done at the following link: